Men's Track and Field: Sagehens Set To Host SCIAC Championships

Men's Track and Field: Sagehens Set To Host SCIAC Championships

The 2017 SCIAC Track & Field Men's Championships will feature interesting team battles and intriguing individual matchups throughout all areas. In the US Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) Division III rankings, the SCIAC currently stands as the #3 strongest conference in the nation, behind the WIAC and the CCIW.

The men's team competition features two teams with seven victories from the dual meet season – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Occidental. Pomona-Pitzer defeated CMS, 84-79, on March 4 to give CMS its only loss, while CMS defeated Occidental, 88-75, on April 15 in a matchup of the two top teams.

The final SCIAC Track & Field standings are determined by a point system: teams score a single point for a dual meet win during the three multi-dual meets in the regular season, and three points for each team they finish ahead of in the Championship meet.

In the sprints, Myles Speegle (SR, Redlands) and Hugh Pegan (JR, Occidental) stand atop the SCIAC 100 meter lists, both at 10.86, with newcomer Obasi Dees (FR, Cal Lutheran) right behind at 10.89. Pegan, the 2016 SCIAC Champ in both the 100m and 200m, and the NCAA Champ in the 200m, tops the 200m list at 21.55 (which is #8 on the Div 3 National lists), with teammate Jeh Johnson (SR, Occidental) at 21.70 (#18 nationally) just behind. The SCIAC 400m list is headed by middle-distance standout Paul Messana (SR, Pomona-Pitzer) at 48.30, but Messana likely won't be contesting this event, leaving Joshua Francis (JR, La Verne) and Gabriel Barrett-Jackson (JR, Occidental) to challenge for the one-lap title. Francis took second last year, while Barrett-Jackson took third before turning it up at Nationals to finish fourth.

In the middle-distances, Messana won the 800m SCIAC title a year ago, but Joshua Sealand (SR, CMS) leads the 2017 list at 1:51.38, with Messana right behind at 1:51.50. Those marks rank the duo 4th and 6th nationally. Sealand, last year's SCIAC runnerup, also sits atop the 1500m list at 3:49.94 (#4 nationally), ahead of Messana's 3:56.11. Sealand took 7th at Nationals last spring.

Andy Reischling (SO, Pomona-Pitzer) clocked 14:15.70 in the 5000 meters to stand atop the SCIAC list (2nd nationally), with the versatile Sealand behind at 14:26.37. The SCIAC 10,000m list is headed by last year's SCIAC runner-up Jesse Joseph (SR, CMS) at 30:41.45, ahead of Ruben Solorza (SR, Whittier) at 31:18.22. In the tough 3000 meter steeplechase event, Pomona-Pitzer boasts a trio atop the conference bests list, with Danny Rosen (FR) at 9:16.98 (#9 nationally), Julian DeGroot-Lutzner (SO) at 9:23.92, and Parker Head (SR) at 9:25.21. Parker was last year's SCIAC runner-up.

In the 110 Hurdles, Cal Neikirk (SO, Pomona-Pitzer) has led the conference list all season. His 14.70 best ranks 12th nationally and he was SCIAC runner-up in 2016. Neikirk also leads SCIAC in the 400 Hurdles at 54.02, which ranks 17th nationally.

In the 4x100 relay, Occidental's quartet of Johnson-Pegan-Collins-Dalton has clocked 41.21 to lead SCIAC and stand #2 nationally, with Cal Lutheran's Dees-Knapp-James-O'Brien at 41.63 for second in SCIAC and 12th nationally. In the 4x400 relay, Pomona-Pitzer's Neikirk-Vucovich-Abele-Messana ran 3:17.21 to top SCIAC teams and stand 9th nationally, but Occidental's Barrett-Jackson-Dalton-Johnson-Pegan lurk at 3:17.48, 11th nationally. Oxy won the 2016 SCIAC title.

In the High Jump, Austin DeWitz (SO, Occidental) has cleared 6'8" to lead SCIAC and stand 16th nationally. Miguel Redmond (JR, Whittier) has cleared 14'9.5) in the Pole Vault to lead SCIAC. Cam Van (SR, CMS) leads both the SCIAC Long Jump (23'0.75") and Triple Jump (48'5.5") lists, with the latter mark currently #6 nationally. Van, the 2016 SCIAC LJ-TJ-HJ champion, will also vie for High Jump points for the Stags.

TJ Randall (JR, La Verne) and Chris Gura (SR, La Verne) lead a powerful Leopard 1-2 combo in the Shot Put, with Randall at 49'9.75" and Gura, at 49'1.75." Gura also leads the SCIAC Discus list at 150'5", with Reggie Reed (SR, Pomona-Pitzer) at 143'10". Gura was the SCIAC runner-up in both the Shot and Discus in 2016.

La Verne looks for big team points in the Hammer, with Andrew Carrasco (SR, 189'10")), Gura (167'11"), and Randall (160'11) ranked 1-2-3. Carrasco, the 2016 SCIAC Champ, stands 4th nationally this season after finishing 7th last year. In the Javelin, Calvin Aylward (JR, Pomona-Pitzer) leads at 211'9" – over 40-feet ahead of second place. Aylward won SCIAC last year, and currently stands 5th nationally. He finished fourth nationally a year ago.

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